Up north in Finland, in the land of the hottest Saunas, longest winters and saddest Tangos, you can also find one of the coolest and most distinguished saxophonist/composers on the Jazz-scene today. Timo Lassy is a man on the move. The Finnish tenor-giant, noted as a “rising star” in Downbeat and called “phenomenally great” by Tagesspiegel, now presents his sixth album in ten years.
Lassy´s newest movement can be seen as a result of his exceptional career so far. Raised in Helsinki and educated at the famous Sibelius academy there, he was a part of the Nu Spirit Helsinki movement early on, as well as the member of the Five Corners Quintet. From this renowned group, which recorded with legendary American vocalist Mark Murphy and was remixed by Nicola Conte, he went on to form his own Timo Lassy Band some ten years ago, “one of Europe´s sharpest bands” according to the Sunday Times UK and “quality swinging jazz with a difference” (Gilles Peterson). Five incredible albums – and a superb collaboration with José James – later Lassy presented the EP When The Devils´s Paid in 2017. The song, written by Timo and featuring vocals by Brazilian giant Ed Motta (with lyrics by British Acid-Jazz-legend Rob “Galliano” Gallagher), was playlisted on JazzFM in the UK for five consecutive weeks.
Moves, the new and sixth album, is a result of Timo Lassy´s musical path so far and a bold step into the future. It encompasses all the elements that have made his sound – from 60s Soul and Latin Jazz to soulful Vocal Jazz – and boldly moves in a modern direction, encompassing electronic sounds and even Hip Hop with Finnish rap-legend Paleface. A fantastic hour of musical magic that combines melodic depth and a richness of sound – most certainly Jazz that knows the tradition and feels the spirit of the moment. Moves won the Emma award (Finnish Grammy) for Jazz album of the year in 2018.
Together with drummer Teppo Mäkynen he just released their debut album as duo. Whilst sensing co-operation that has lasted over a decade playing together in various bands (Teddy Rok 7, The Five Corners Quintet, Jo Stance, Timo Lassy Band) there is a feel of freshness, excitement and something new when listening to two tracks “Calling James / Yanki” released on a 7″ (We Jazz 2017). In a live setting the full energy is released taking directions from the moment, feeling the audience and most importantly musical dialog of saxophone and drums.
Constantly selling out shows in his native Finland, Lassy is on the verge of becoming a force to be reckoned with on the international jazz circuit as well.
The Timo Lassy Band includes members of several hard-hitting and well-proven ensembles, most notably The Five Corners Quintet, the most successful Finnish jazz outfit to date and also the alma mater of Lassy himself. Live, the Timo Lassy Band excels in getting into the mood of hard- swinging jazz with gusto galore. The band is brimming with innovation, making this music very much “the art of now”.